Located about 15 kilometers south of the Brenner Pass, Vipiteno is the most important commercial center in the upper Isarco Valley and the northernmost town within Italian territory
. The city’s German name, Sterzing, is mentioned in the historical record as far back as 1180. Count Meinhard II of Tyrol raised the status of the settlement to a city in 1280, and expanded the Old Town into the area south of the Tower of the Twelve
: that area is still known today as the New Town.
Vipiteno’s steepest upswing was recorded in the fifteenth century: When mining began in the Wipptal Valley around 1400 many businesses chose Vipiteno as their headquarters. The city’s characteristic buildings and house facades
date back to this time. Over the years, Vipiteno has developed into a modern city with numerous shopping options. With specialty shops, Italian boutiques, breakfast cafes and restaurants
concentrated around the historical fifteenth-century Tower of the Twelve, this town with 7,000 souls fuses Tyrolean history with Italian style. No wonder the historical city center ranks amongst Europe’s nicest shopping areas.
From the shopping area in the medieval pedestrian zone, it takes less than five minutes to reach the valley station of the 6-seater cable car, which whisks you up to the Monte Cavallo/Rosskopf
recreational area in just 15 minutes. The first alpinists had already discovered Vipiteno’s tributary valleys by the middle of the nineteenth century, and they are now popular retreats offering a well-developed range of guesthouses, farm-holiday companies and a 4-star spa hotel. The glaciers of the nearby Zillertal Alps offer active holidaymakers a wide range of tours, ranging in difficulty from simple to quite demanding, as well as numerous mountain refuges and lodges. Mountain bikers
can also enjoy a variety of tours along marked trails and forest roads.